Monday, February 13, 2006

Putting Economic Figures Into Perspective!

The Economist which cannot be suspected of propagating leftist views has a fascinating article on the measure of economic wealth in Europe and in the U.S.:
... a nation's well-being depends on many factors ignored by GDP, such as leisure time, income inequality and the quality of the environment.
[.../...]
The OECD's calculations suggest if people strongly dislike inequality, the gap between America and most other rich countries, which have a more equal distribution of income, should be greatly reduced. By this measure, adjusted income per head is higher in France than in America.
[.../...]
Longer holidays and shorter working hours increase an individual's well-being, yet conventional national accounts completely overlook such benefits. America is one of the world's richest countries, yet its workers toil longer hours than those elsewhere. As a result, adjusting GDP for leisure also narrows the gap between America and Europe.

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